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If you’ve read my books, articles, newsletters, or blog posts you know I stress, heavily stress, the buying and selling of a small business is a relationship game.

In my rules of buying and selling, I state, “If cash is king, relationships are the queen and like in chess, the queen is the most powerful piece on the board.”

Based on feedback, readers get my point. So why don’t (all) my clients? The following is something a client sent me, after skipping the step of meeting with the seller to discuss valuation ranges and deal structures.

Well, one thing that I learned from this is that we should always present a value/preliminary offer in person.  Based on your notes, he clearly did not understand our intention in laying out the factors that could impact value.  

Technology makes it too easy to take shortcuts. Email, voicemail, texting, etc. are great for some things, but not for sensitive issues, issues where body language and inflection can play a huge part. Or when it’s possible to misunderstand the context or ultimate objective.

Someone recently told me they flew from Seattle to LA for one meeting. A meeting less than 30 minutes, but they secured the business. It would have been easy to call or write but the in person visit added so much value it’s unbelievable.

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